Thursday, August 28, 2014

Laura Beil at Men's Health published a story in July about the risks of robotic surgery for men.  The summary:

American medicine has a history of embracing new technology first and asking questions later, Dr. Lotan says. "Our health care system is in financial distress, and it's important to understand why. Doctors are removing gallbladders robotically, and it makes no financial sense. At some point as a society, we have to say, We're spending this money, and what are we getting?'"

With robotic surgery, the answer may come too late to matter, he says. No one is going back. "Maybe with the next technology we will evaluate the cost-effectiveness prior to adoption."

The folks at Intuitive Surgery didn't like it, and the senior vice president for scientific affairs wrote a letter complaining. The lede:

Laura Beil makes a mistake common to journalists eager to write an eye-catching story: She chooses the facts that fit her narrative and ignores those that don't.

MH editor Peter Moore replied here.  The summary:

We pride ourselves on the accuracy of our reporting at Men's Health, so we took Intuitive's request for corrections very seriously. After an internal investigation—with the cooperation of Laura Beil and our research team, led by Jaclyn Colletti—we stand behind the article in it's entirety, as published.

Read for yourself and see who's most persuasive.


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